Sunday, December 29, 2013

Greff Fabrics Blues, 1971 (ix)

During our conversation, Louise hadn't indicated that she was now involved romantically with anyone else. So when she wrote down on a piece of paper her Manhattan apartment's current phone number, handed it to me, and invited me to give her a call soon, I assumed that meant she was still as interested in possibly getting involved with me in the Fall of 1971 as she had seemed to be in the Spring of 1968. And, given the increased feminist consciousness I had acquired between the Spring of 1968 and the Fall of 1971, I was not now reluctant to possibly becoming involved with an older woman like Louise, who did not feel compelled to wait for a younger man she was interested in getting to know to make the first move.

So a few days later, I dialed the telephone number that Louise had invited me to call. But--to my surprise--instead of the telephone being answered by Louise, it was answered by former Columbia Spectator editor Robert. Yet when she asked me to give her a call, Louise hadn't mentioned anything about Robert or indicated that Robert might be the one answering a telephone in her apartment if I called.

After asking Robert to tell Louise that I had called, I quickly said "good-bye" and hung up the receiver. By 1971 I had become more open and interested in getting closer to Louise than I had been in 1968. But my interest in Louise in the Fall of 1971 had been based on my assumption that--like me--she wasn't then dating anyone else I knew from the Columbia scene at that time. And once I realized that Robert might now be romantically interested in or now already involved romantically with Louise, I had no desire to try to compete with him for Louise's affection.

In retrospect, I perhaps should have been willing to try to get closer in the Fall of 1971 to Louise as a friend who wasn't a lover. But in the Fall of 1971, I was then more interested in getting closer as a friend to a woman who also seemed likely and willing to become a lover, than in getting closer as a friend to a woman who already seemed to be involved romantically with another man.

Friday, December 27, 2013

Greff Fabrics Blues, 1971 (viii)

Having apparently finished doing her grad school academic work in the English Department of Columbia University's Graduate School of Liberal Arts, Louise had apparently been hired by the Queens College English Department to teach some literature or English composition courses to undergraduate students at Queens College. By the Fall of 1971, Louise was more dressed up than she had been when she was a Columbia grad student rebel in the Spring of 1968; and she now looked a little more culturally straight and more like a professor now.

Yet she seemed almost as friendly to me as she had been in the Spring of 1968 and we ended up riding on the bus together to Queens College and then--after getting off at the bus stop nearest Queens College's campus--walking through the campus to the low-rise building in which her office was located. During our conversation on the bus, we had both agreed that the failure of then-New York State Governor Nelson Rockefeller to grant amnesty to the Attica prisoners who revolted in early September 1971 seemed similar to the failure of former Columbia University President Grayson Kirk to grant amnesty to the Columbia and Barnard students who had revolted in April and May of 1968.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Greff Fabrics Blues, 1971 (vii)

Coincidentally, by the time Robert was editing "University Review" in the early 1970s, he was apparently involved with his future wife, Louise. Due to the residual ageist and male chauvinist consciousness that I still reflected in the Spring of 1968, I had been reluctant to, myself, get involved with an older radical left feminist grad student who then seemed more willing than the women I had previously dated to take the initiative in pushing for a relationship with a younger man; after I had first met Louise in the student-occupied Fayerweather Hall during the 1968 Columbia Student Revolt. But by the Fall of 1971, my ageist and male chauvinist reluctance to get involved, myself, with an older feminist woman like Louise, who was also willing to take the initiative in pushing for a relationship, had pretty much vanished.

So when I bumped into Louise at a bus stop on Main Street and Roosevelt Avenue in Flushing, while she was waiting to take a bus to the Queens College campuse in the Fall of 1971, I was now much more open to getting closer to Louise than I had been three years before.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Greff Fabrics Blues, 1971 (vi)

Also in September 1971, in a rack in the Queens College library, I picked up a copy of an alternative Manhattan Upper West Side-based newspaper/magazine, "The University Review," that both former Columbia SDS activist Lew and former "Columbia Daily Spectator" editor Robert seemed to be involved in putting out. And since the editors of "The University Review" invited their readers to mail in their writing, I sent them a copy of my short story, "The Classless Society," and a "basement cassette tape" of some of my protest folk songs from the 1966 to 1971 period, including "Bloody Minds" and "Livin' On Stolen Goods."

Yet for some reason, Lew and Robert were not willing to open the pages of their alternative left-wing "University Review" publication to my writing, although during the 1990s my written work ended up getting heavily published for 7 years in the Lower East Side-based alternative weekly "Downtown." But without my writing, "The University Review" didn't last more than four years before it folded.

Apparently former "Columbia Daily Spectator" editor Robert had been in contact with Mark around the same time as the March 1970 Townhouse explosion in which Ted, Diana and Terry were killed (and had apparently even gone to see the "Zabriskie Point" movie with Mark around that time, according to Mark's 21st-century autobiography). But after "The University Review" folded, Robert ended up getting a job for awhile as the "Village Voice" editor and then working as an editor for mainstream corporate media firms like Times-Mirror-"New York Newsday," Time Warner-CNN-"Fortune" magazine and Billionaire NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Bloomberg Inc. mass media firm, for many years.

Meanwhile, after "The University Review" folded, former Columbia SDS activist Lew apparently pocketed some money from a Movement class-action lawsuit which responded to the FBI/COINTELPRO surveillance and break-ins that targeted Upper West Side New Left activists like Lew in the late 1960s and early 1970s. Then Lew got more into writing books about professional basketball teams and mostly unproduced Hollywood screenplays apparently than being into much late 1970s or 1980s anti-imperialist or prisoner solidarity activism; and, eventually, he was apparently hired by the Columbia University Administration in the late 1980s to be its "house radical" as some kind of a School of the Arts prof/screenplay writing instructor (who also helped an ex-BPP activist write his 1960s memoirs) until his tragic death from Lou Gehrig's disease less than a year after the 40th anniversary reunion of 1968 Columbia Revolt student participants in 2008--where Lew gave one of the greatest speeches of his life while sitting in a wheelchair, that brought tears to the eyes of most people in the audience.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Greff Fabrics Blues, 1971 (v)

In September 1971, prisoners in Attica State Prison in Upstate New York revolted in response to both George Jackson's assassination in California and to protest against the oppressive treatment of prisoners in New York State and by its Attica State Prison administration and warden. A list of demands were drawn up, some Attica prison guards were seized and certain sections of the Attica State prison were liberated in ways similar to how Columbia and Barnard anti-war and anti-racist students had liberated five Columbia University buildings in April 1968. And, like at Columbia, when the local administration couldn't persuade the protesters to give up their demand for amnesty during negotiations with intermediaries, the decision was made to use physical force to end the protest. Only with respect to suppressing the protests by the Attica prisoners in September 1971--unlike at Columbia--the level of physical force that was used was live bullets and tear gas, rather than just the billy clubs and blackjacks that were used on Columbia's campus in late April and May of 1968.

As a result, at least 29 prisoners and 10 prison guards were killed by the bullets of the state troopers that then-New York Governor Nelson Rockefller had ordered in to reestablish state government control of the prison and crush the 4-day prison revolt, in what became known as "The Attica Massacre." To express my outrage at Billionaire Rockefeller's brutal action, a few days later I wrote a protest folk song, titled "The Battle of Attica," which began with the lyrics, "Let me tell you, my friend about the Battle of Attica."